Have you been giving some thought to what will happen after you pass on? Do you want to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone? Although nobody likes to think of such things, it's important to have a plan regarding what you want to have happen to your personal possessions and to any money that you might have when you pass on. This will help to eliminate any misunderstandings or confusion that your acquaintances, relatives, and heirs might have in regards to both your funeral and afterward. Some things for you to consider now include:
If you die without a will, each state has laws in place to govern who will get your property and how it will be divided. If you do not want your estate divided up automatically, it is important that you consult an attorney who is knowledgeable in estate planning. Some jurisdictions require that you leave something, even if it is only a few dollars, to a person who would otherwise be an heir. If you leave them out of your will completely and do not mention them, they may have a legal reason to challenge the will and to get it divided in another way. An estate planning attorney will help you to make out a will that allows you to divide your estate how you choose.
As with who can inherit, there may be legal restrictions on who can serve as executor of your will. If you don't choose a valid executor with the help of your estate planning attorney, the state may allow a person whom you did not want or may appoint a third party who will take a portion of your estate as a fee for handling all of the matters.
Although not usually part of your will itself, writing down your desires for your funeral is an important part of estate planning. Do you want flowers or would you rather have people donate to a charity? Do you want to be buried or do you want to save money and go with cremation? An experienced lawyer will talk you through all of the options, helping you to choose ones that are right for you and for the circumstances surrounding your life and your resources. Having these things laid out in writing will help make the actual arrangements easier on your loved ones when the time comes.
To learn more about planning your estate, contact a business such as Barrett Twomey Broom Hughes & Hoke LLP.